May 2004

May News

Ice Cream madness hits London

Blame technology. The new generation ice cream making machines (sorbetieres) are turning London 's chefs into mad scientists. With many of these machines just about anything can be made into ice cream and sorbet and chefs are spending spare afternoons lobbing things in to see what comes out. One nameless chef prepares ice cream using raw, green apple peelings. Blumenthal makes smoked bacon and egg ice cream and Anthony Turner at 1880 told me he was having enormous fun experimenting with the Bentley's sorbetiere. Part of the reason is the new range of compact machines, most of which are self cleaning. And they don't just make ice cream either; Chorizo mousse anyone? Be warned, though, these aren't for domestic use as the machine of choice for discerning chefs, the Pacojet, costs a cool £2000! Best wait for the ice cream man to come round.

Lola's loses another

Elisha Carter, head chef at Lola's, Islington's trendinista restaurant is off to as yet unnamed pastures new. His fifteen months at the helm follows Hywel Jones (six months) and Robert Reid (two months). Quite why no one seems to stay long in Islington is hard to say, perhaps its just too far from London . Elisha will remain until a replacement is found which, given the standard he was setting, won't be too easy.

The Greenhouse. More smashing than ever

Michelin starred Greenhouse just off Berkeley Square has just reopened after a major re-design. The new space makes use of the greenhouse theme (that uniquely English concept) and extends the garden into the interior using sandstone flooring, lime oak display panels, walnut timber flooring and richly coloured draped fabric. In the garden it's an oasis of calm with a wooden deck, potted plants and bamboo trees.

Harry Ramsden, fishing in new waters

You don't have to get battered at Harry Ramsden's famous fish and chip restaurants. The brand new menus include a choice of fish cooking methods - battered, poached or chargrilled. And if that wasn't healthy enough there will also be a choice of side orders to replace chips if preferred, including butter or cheese mash, potato wedges and onion rings. Don't fancy fish? No problem, the new menu also contains all the other great British dishes we love, including beef stew and dumplings and chicken, ham and leek pie for main course, not to mention chocolate puddle pudding and fruit salad for dessert. Luvverly jubberly


Win a family meal at Harry Ramsden's!

Win one of two prizes of £50 worth of vouchers to use in the Piccadilly Harry Ramsden's restaurant at any time in the next six months. To be in with a chance to win, simply email us at with HR in the subject line and the answer to this simple question. Q. What date was Harry Ramsden's established?

Terms and conditions:
Offer only available at Harry Ramsden's, Sherwood Street , Piccadilly. The vouchers may only be used as part payment for goods and services of a higher value at the above outlet. No change will be given, and cannot be exchanged for cash. Photocopied or defaced copies will not be accepted. Offer valid 6 months after issue date.

Ramsay rants on

Don't forget to tune in to Gordon Ramsay kicking the **** out of some poor chefs for the next few weeks on Tuesdays on Channel 4. Racking up more four letter words than the average rap song, Ramsay terrifies and intimidates chefs from small restaurants and hotels who never expected to feel quite so much heat in the kitchen. Of course Ramsay is turning it on for the cameras (and the fee) and, of course, he mostly has a point. But you can't help feeling that he has some serious problems of his own, even if it makes for good entertainment.

Bubbling over in Kent

Is it global warming or madness? Champagne producers from France are eyeing up land in Kent and Sussex . The reason? Acreage is incredibly cheap compared to traditional French areas and, apparently, the soil is very suitable. And if the summers continue to get hotter, then it all looks very feasible.

Orrery snack on the terrace or get a takeaway

Conran's Michelin starred Orrery restaurant in Marylebone is opening its terrace bar for the summer. With its beautiful views over the church gardens and superior food from Head Chef Andre Garrett, it's the perfect place to take lunch or enjoy the early evening sunshine. The Epicerie downstairs, meanwhile, sells Andre's fabulous food in portions. Choose from the massive cheese selection or see what's special to take-away. It's better than M&S, that's for sure.

Mela makes food more tolerable for allergy sufferers

For people with allergies, eating out can be a minefield. After all no one wants to leave a restaurant feet-first. Mela, the award-winning Indian restaurant in Shaftsbury Avenue is aware of the problem and from 7th to 20th June is putting on a special diabetic menu that will delight diabetics and non diabetics alike. From 21st June to 4th July the emphasis will be on a gluten free menu. And finally from 5th July to 18th July there will be a special dairy free menu on offer.